Inspiration, hope and ideas for business in Covid-19

We’ve made a commitment to bring ideas and inspiration to you when you need it.  Covid-19 Creative Think Tank is the first in a series delving into the biggest issues facing business today.

In this special episode, we've bought together talented business and creative minds from a variety of backgrounds, to hash out the tough issues, and offer fresh, practical ideas.

It will help people open their minds to opportunities, de-stress and see a more hopeful future. A practical inspiring show.

The Think Tank features Wade Kingsley from The Ideas Business, Janice Francisco founder of Bridge Point Effect, Ideas Architect & business coach Geoff McDonald, high performance systems specialist Geoffrey Wade from Onirik, and Eriks & Judy Celmins founders of Innovate To Win by Engage4Insights.

All hosted by Shayne Brian from Elevate Podcasts.

If you’re managing a business today, you have no choice but to adapt.  And sometimes all it takes is some inspiration, from someone outside your world.

For a quick teaser…check out this video

Listen to the full episode below …

This is a full transcript from the show


(Shayne Introduction) This is the Covid-19 Creative Think Tank for Business. I just realized that Judy wrote the code void and I'd like it to be a bit of avoid actually taking up too much of our attention.

I'm gonna go through and introduce everyone shortly. But first we have Judy Celmins and she's going to just set the scene for us.

Thank you so much, Shayne.

Look, I wanted to give my personal thanks to you all for joining us today. My idea when I came up with this format was to give small businesses some inspiration to get your creative minds thinking about what you could do to change your world. Driving around last week and all I could see was smaller businesses that were going to struggle in our new environment. And at no fault of their own. And today, that's a reality for many small business innovation and thinking laterally is something we maybe hope to get to at some point.

And that's now being forced on us. While we can't solve all your problems today. We can guide you on cutting through that clutter, looking at them from a fresh perspective and the new opportunities. And I think it's really exciting. That's where today's episode will be a starting place for your reinvention.

You know, just over the last few episodes that you have actually released, Judy, there's been some incredible marketing ideas and concepts.


I don't think there's any generation that exists now. Even those who went through the war can actually prepare us for what we're going through now, because this is the most unique thing that any of us have ever seen. And so everyone's alert thing isn't just saying, because I'm talking to my mother, of course, and she went through the London blitz and very familiar with it.

So we shouldn't be too hard on ourselves for going. I feel a bit. It's hard and it's a bit overwhelming. And I and I think we need to deal with that emotion. But then we can also look toward some exciting opportunities. And that's what really this is all about. And I do believe that there are some exciting opportunities. It's going to take time for us to adjust. And I think in some ways, first couple of weeks might be just an all adjustment and working out what that new norm is for you.

And then you can move forward. So we deal with that and move forward. But at the same time, the idea here is to have that bit of inspiration so that you can go back. Not all is lost. You know, there are things we can do. So I'm really looking forward to everybody today and their inputs. I've known you, all of you or I've interviewed you at times. So I've got a bit of an idea of what skills you'll be able to bring to this.

And so, again, I'm looking forward to it because I know all of you are genuine, positive people, your role ideas, people. And that's what we need in our world. It totally is, and every one of you guys are just listening to the previous episodes, have some amazing input here, and I think that we're going to come up with some incredible ideas today as to how we can combat the current situation and how we can actually make the most of this, turn it into something that is amazing.


In the very first thing is that we're all doing a podcast here right now. And obviously podcasting has become the new thing that we're that everybody's turning to and the numbers are increasing rapidly.

The last two months, there's been an extra two million people that have tuned in that have never tuned in before. So, you know, it's  growing rapidly. And here we are at the cutting edge of it. So may I introduce each one of you.

And first of all, we've had a couple of people say they want to be last. I think Geoff said he wants to be last. So we will introduce Geoff very last. So firstly, let's have a chat with Wade Kingsley. He's from The Ideas Business in Melbourne. And so wait, just tell us a little bit about yourself and how you think that you can help us today.

Thanks Shayne. Thanks, Judy and Eriks for the opportunity, because I always wanted to use a branded bunker for some purpose.

Here I have my little home studio as well. And I think that's one of the things that the common conversation I've been having with people this week is the adaptability. How you adapt. We're thinking about it from our own business perspective, but also, we're thinking about it for others. And, you know, unfortunately, it does sometimes take these dark times for humans to do perhaps what we put on the planet to do anyway, which is to collaborate and help each other succeed.

And it's just interesting to think, even in the perspective of everything that's potentially going wrong in your business, that the moment or is challenging in your business or feels different in your business. One of the things that's helped me personally this week and hopefully by that today is to have some gratitude because there is someone who is personally going to be much worse off than you are on the planet at the moment. health-wise there's gonna be someone in business who is financially worse off than you are.


And even in those times, it's I think it's helpful to ground yourself in the reality that human ingenuity and creativity is a way through these sort of challenges. So hopefully today I can help bring some perspective on how to foster creativity, because I think that's often the challenge, particularly when you might lead to think normally that bounce that you get from working in person with others is more natural. How can you stop that? This is trying to get your mindset right for creative solutions or creative development when you're potentially more physically remote or more socially distant.

I'd certainly been accused of being emotionally distant before, but in some socially distant. And so I think there's some opportunity to try and think about using that distance to advance to see things that you might have seen otherwise. So hopefully I can help all nice ones today.


Thanks Wade. Interesting that you said talking about the home studio and here we are, you know, so much distance between us yet we're all sitting in the same studio here in Zoom world. Exactly. Business now that's a little late. It's kind of one of those forced necessities. That sometimes these crises can open up the opportunity that we might not have explored otherwise?

That's right. Absolutely.

So let's have a chat with Janice Francisco. She's from Bridgepoint Effect in Toronto, Canada. We'll get the lowdown of what's happening in in on the other side of the world in Canada.

I am good. I think we're a couple of days or maybe a week ahead of Australia, New Zealand and some of the changes that they're enforcing on people. I've certainly noticed it's a very big difference this week over last week, which was our first week at home, and they've had lots of opportunity to talk to colleagues of ours who work around the world.

And it's almost nice to be able to tap in with people and go, OK. Like, what's it like in week three? What are you noticing? What's going on? So I think this is certainly created an opportunity for many of us to be connected in a way that perhaps we didn't think that we would be. I think, you know, from the places that I'm looking at these days, what I'm what I'm noticing is that, you know, with everybody kind of sent home and this whole idea of let's let's try to figure out how we're going to keep our small or medium or large sized businesses running.

I know in Canada, many of the businesses are small and medium enterprises and they have less than 10 employees in them, as Judy said. It's not something, you know, they're innovative by nature, but they don't necessarily have innovative programs or innovation programs like some of the larger companies. And I think right now they're  being thrown into a situation where they need to really deal with some challenges that nobody could have planned for. You know, I was thinking about this today.


And in essence, our governments have put it out of business, you know, and there's some irony in that. Right. Like, we have governments that are really working hard to support small business and make incubators and do all kinds of stuff. And they've kind of put us out of business or they've really made it challenging to continue.

And I think that's really pulling on people's pulling on people's creativity and trying to help them find. So, you know, a large part of the work we do is helping people come helping teams come together, helping leaders understand that the pressures they're facing aren't things that they're supposed to be doing on their own. Right. When we have big challenges to face, I think there's a lot of pressure on leaders to feel that they are the ones that are supposed to have all the answers.

And nobody has the answers to this right now. And I think this is the time where we need to find ways to come together with our people, even if it's stretched out across, you know, time zones or distance. And we're in all kinds of different rooms to do it. I think there's an opportunity to bring our people together and be really honest with them about the challenges that we're facing and look to them to help us find the answers to these very, very tough questions that we all need to do, or we all need to be dealing with.

And I think, you know, I'm quite used to dealing with the ambiguity and uncertainty in the work that we do with our clients. I've spent a lot of time helping people understand that. I think I've trained myself well in it. And, you know, there's still days where, you know, we're all gulping and we're going, oh, what is this? But they do think it comes down to how are we managing ourselves? How are we managing our mindset?


What are the sorts of things that we can look at? What are we focusing on? You know, so much of what we're going to be able to do is about, you know, what are we focusing on and what do we want to find. So that's the sort of stuff that I do on a day to day basis.

Thank you, Janice. You know what you said about small businesses surviving. It doesn't matter if you're small or medium or large. Now, I think we're all in the same boat. And that's the uniqueness of this situation. This morning, it was announced that I think 80 percent of the workforce at the Star Casino on the Gold Coast is gone. They've all been terminated. I mean, who would have thought that we would come to something like this within two or three weeks?

You know, death row here. I don't know. I don't know what the numbers are in. In your continent, we had five hundred thousand people apply for employment insurance in the first week. We had a million people apply in this past week. Now, we still haven't laid off any of our people. And I really hope that we don't you know, we don't have to do that. They've promised aid, but certainly not to the level that we all need.

And I think business leaders are faced with some really difficult challenges around, you know, what is the business they sustain? What are they going to bring out of the flames of this? You know, there's loads of opportunity out there, and I see opportunity. And I know we will get through this. It's just in the short term, it's going to be very painful, very hard. There's gonna be a lot of grief, a lot of pain, a lot of.

I mean, that's the reality if we're not really good at dealing with the emotion that we're dealing with. I think that's going to make it all the harder. I think we've got to be really honest about what we're feeling, and we need to be honest in our approach in how we're gonna work it out.


Thanks, Janice. So let's have a quick chat to Geoff McDonald now, and Geoff, you're an Ideas Architect from Melbourne. You know, I'd love to hear your perspective on this.

Thanks, Shayne. I think the bottom line is the first thing I'd say is I'm actually shocked. You know, as much as I think I keep an eye on what's coming. There's no way in the world anybody predicted this. But also knowing that there were calls for a pandemic was coming. But I think the funniest thing I've heard was someone said, you know, it must be bad in Australia when they're cancelling sport. And I think that's kind of how deep it's actually gone.

It's all these things that we thought would. It'll come, though, and we'll just clean, if some of that or cancel some of that. But it's actually what this fall off for and what we normally do. And it's very much the way I work, mostly it's primarily as a business coach working with business experts to help them create ideas that they can share and make a difference with their clients within. There's certainly opportunities here around all that. But I think the first thing is and I think the past has been said here, that we need to actually just ground ourselves and be emotionally aware of what's going on with ourselves, because otherwise we're just going to make silly decisions.

And I think that's kind of like the toilet paper. Panic is kind of people operating out of reactivity rather than actually just grounding themselves going. Is where we're at. This is the new reality. This is what I'm feeling is what I need to do to manage myself. And sometimes that might be like today I'm sitting on my parents’ kitchen table. Because not, my usual things, and the real tragedy for us and our family is that my dad's just gone into care for his dementia and he's literally in there on his own and we can't go and see him.

And he's definitely in a situation far worse than I am and I think that's part of it. As someone hinted before, there's always gonna be someone worse off. But a lot of this, if we don't deal with our emotions first, we've got nothing. And if you want to be creative or innovative, you actually got to be comfortable with where you're at before you can move forward. And I think that's the first point I'd make for people.

And then as we talk, we'll explore some of these opportunities. And I think some of those will be. Devastating opportunity, some people just gonna be wiped out. Some of us are just going to have to tweak. But in the same way we’ll all recover and we'll move forward in some way. And if we can stay on that bigger picture of maybe it's three months, six months, maybe it's 12 months, maybe it's 18 months, we're going to recover and we're going to have more opportunities along the way.

At the moment, just be kind to yourself and we'll see what happens.


Thanks, Geoff. So we before we go to Geoffrey, who I think has some building happening next to you, I hate for it to speak now, will we, as I say, finished cutting up the concrete?

So, Geoffrey Wade, you're from Onirik in Brisbane and Sydney. It's a little bit about what you're doing and what your thoughts are on all of this.

Yeah, we work with medium, large corporates. Our theme is that we help them align as 21 percent improvement in targeted KPI in 21 weeks. And we do that through moving their leadership to a different paradigm.

And if you will, so many organisations are superb at managing their financial assets. They're really good at managing their physical assets. And then they talk about their human assets and take them on, put it kindly, treat them like mushrooms. And it's about transitioning organisations to actually realising that a human assets are probably the most valuable thing that they've got. And if I can work with them, well, I can get transformative outcomes. So listening to the others talk about the human dimension connected very deeply with maybe some of what we do is the study of human expertise, the modelling of experts and expertise in how people perform exceptionally resilient in times like this.

And I was kind of resonating thinking what one of the things that that I find myself doing. I smiled when we started out and did a little bit of breathing to get ourselves into a useful place. But. I'm someone who's modeled folks who can sort of study the structure of how how people maintain flow states. You know, these states of being in the zone, optimum performance. Now I can turn that on and leverage it frequently. But I got to tell you, there's about 10 times a day at the moment that I stop.

And I have to take a few deep breaths, get myself sorted, then stop the panic. And I see that around me. It's either I talk to clients and friends and those one poignant story that comes to mind. A friend was saying, we've just spent two and a half years building this business.

We've got employees. It's in a great spot.

And we're going to lose all of that, because the nature of our business is that we that we deal with consumers and we have a face to the public. So we have to shut it all down.

And the really positive thing about that sad statement was she and followed it up and said.


But when we can get going again in, you know, we don't know a month, two months, five months when we can get going again. Then we'll just start over and we'll build it all up from scratch. And it was such a heartening thing to hear that. Oh, yes. It's going to be a real problem, but we're not. And we're already thinking of the future and how we're recovering when we recover. So, yeah, it's there was this there's this mix at the moment of folks who are almost behaving like the Preppers that maybe a term that doesn't mean much to you.

But in the US or a group called the Preppers the least, the ones who've dug the bunker in the backyard and got the five years of food and they prepared for the end of the world.

And there are those who are who are behaving a little bit like the Preppers disappearing into the bunker. And then there are those who are saying, well, this, too, we can survive. And they're looking for opportunities. They're reinventing business or they're partnering with other organizations so that the two of them can bring solutions to people who are struggling with the consequences of commercial shutdown and physical distancing. It's quite bizarre, really, to see these totally opposing responses of almost 100 percent different than with the same trigger.

And it reminds me of something I read once. It was a guy was visiting a city in the U.S. and he went to a dinner that evening.

He said it was it was really interesting because it was one of those small regional cities, quarter of a million people, big manufacturing enterprise was the hub of commerce in that town. I think it employed 80 percent of the people. And there are a lot of ancillary industries that were feeding supply each day to this manufacturing entity. And it was that time of year when the unions and the owners of the business were negotiating the employment conditions and salary pay, et cetera.


For the next period. They were doing their enterprise bargaining and the bargaining run on the docks and the workers were on strike and the company was entrenched and not moving their position. The union was entrenched. And so, you know, 80 percent of the talent sitting at home, much like now. And he said at this dinner table and found they had a real estate agent on his left and a real estate agent on his right. So I chose the one on the left, asks how you're doing.

And it gets the whole story about doom, gloom. I think the business, having to let my workers go, you know, with everyone unemployed, there's just no property shifting. And he turns with trepidation to the person on his right expecting the same stories. And how are you going in these circumstances?

Booming. I'm going to have to take on people. He's in shock. It's like I'm talking to an alien here or somebody who lives in this town. And the other real estate agent said, you know, it's how you think about it. Yeah. Right now, things are tough because people are off work and they're not getting their money back.

You know, sometime in the next week or two weeks, this dispute is going to be resolved. They are going to get a pay rise. They're going to go back to work. They're going to want the bigger, better house. I'm out there marketing to them now saying, you know, when that happens, I'm ready to help you find a new house. And I've got a lot of people who are ready to upgrade. That's a good story.

It's a good idea. I’ve got to end with saying, you know, if you read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Remember what it says on the cover. Don't panic. Yeah, yeah, that's right. I think I think it's just preparation. Like you said, you know, show the Preppers over in America preparing for the worst. You know, I've got my Mad Max outfit ready to go.

I'm just wondering when it's an appropriate time to put it on.


We just might finish this little bit of an introduction by throwing to Eriks Celmins someone who is together with Judy. They have Engage4Insights over in sunny Nelson, New Zealand. And we'd like you to tell us a little bit about what your thoughts are.

Thank you, Shayne. As for myself really as a marketing and research and content consultant, the few different facets that I get involved in.

My big passion is gathering insights from customers into their real life and using that to drive the idea generation creative problem-solving. Because in the end, as you said before, Janice that the pressure is on leaders to think they can do it all themselves. You don't have to. You can actually use your customers because that's really underestimated as a way of working through things. We find in our work that people will love being presented with a problem. You get a group of motivated customers together and tell them, okay, I've tried to decide what to do here.

They'll pitch in now whatever means you use to do that. And obviously these days is going to be online. But to have people help you through this. And that goes to your team as well, because I know with a lot of businesses and understand what the pressures are now, whether you keep people or whether some people are going to have to go. But it's some way separate to all of this to have team and customers together working with you. Give them my issues, try things out with them, and so that you get to the other end of this and in much better shape.

Because it will be amazing what people will tell you. And I think under these circumstances, when everyone's senses are really quite sharpened and heightened in this, that I think will be able to get an even greater level of input from people to help you along. Yeah, I think that that that's really the key point, isn't it, is that, you know, it really is that point now where we just have to really be mindful of everything that's happening and, you know, all start working together in this and not get not get afraid when we're hearing about people, you know, having to shut down or put people off.

I mean, this is a situation where we just have to adapt now, right?

No, exactly. With my research hat on because I love social observation and understanding what's going on. Now, whether you do that purely by scanning online news media is one way, watching people around you and even over the past week or so, observing and hearing about what how people are adapting. It's those accumulated, even tiny changes going on that actually give, I think, a lot of businesses some opportunities to look at.


You only need to look at your own social environment as much as you're able.

But you know that the level of online interaction that's going to go on and the way people will adapt to having birthday parties online. We were just talking about that the other day. There are massive changes going to happen. Now there is the immediate situation. How does that play out the other side? Because things are just going to suddenly revert to, you know, March the 1st? We'll just go back to that date and ignore what's gone in between?

These things all have an impact because while we are creatures of habit, we are also quite predictable, and we come out the other end being different. And I think for a lot of businesses being close to that and watching really closely what's going on in your circle will actually give you a lot of clues. And as I say, if you can bring your customers in on this, particularly the friendly's, your more active people tell them what's going on. Because people know, you say to people, okay, let’s get together every week.

Couple of weeks or so. Let's just chat about things like we're doing today. The people will come on board and they will give you really good observations on the way forward.

Yeah, that's good. That's a good point. So, look, I think we might open up this discussion. I did want to throw it to Geoff with a question as well. His Internet was coming and going before. So I do want to bring up a question about, you know, changing people's lives for the better. And I think this is a really probably a good one to start with. You know, if your business is shut, sorry, if your marketing, a product or a service that is all about changing people's lives for the better, then under these circumstances, under these extreme circumstances, what should a business be doing right now?


And if you would like to answer that, Geoff.

I think Eriks is on the right path. I think the opportunities to go back to the people you work with, the people you service, the customers, the clients, and actually just find out where they're at. There will be some new opportunities. There will be some new insights there. And what you provided last week might not be relevant to them anymore. So, for instance, I just put together in a book about working from home, which I haven't talked about that for 20 years.

That was my first book 20 years ago. But what I found was people were going, how do I work from home? I had people asking me about that. OK, I can help him that. And I think that is the opportunity where I'd like to think most innovation. Well, just different types of innovation. But that's a real opportunity for innovation to just go back and not even from the point of view of trying to design something that's going to work and the track just kind of go back and see how you can help people in the short term.

See what comes of that. For me, it might be that you simply keep people afloat for a little while. It might be that they actually become customers for you, or it might just be this short term thing that you help people out and then get you get back to whatever you call businesses. So I'd be going back to your customers and keeping those communication channels open and just hearing and supporting and listening for what people need right now.

One of the things, though, Geoff, I've noticed is that there's a seems to be a flurry of people, especially, you know, in the coaching world of, you know, because of the whole Covid-19, I'm actually going to be doing this masterclass or seminar for free. I mean, should we be going to that extreme?

Yes and no. I'm OK with that. If I'm losing my customers and my clients, it's likely that other people are in the same boat.

So it might be a case of, hey, what you need rather than nothing. So some can afford to. Some will be happy to pay. Others may not be eligible for them. But it doesn't mean you can't help them. So they are one of. Pay what you think it's worth or pay what you can or pay what you will. Might be a better approach. So that's the idea.

I like that. I like it. Now we have a guest that's arrived.


It's been added. So welcome, Phoebe, to the conversation. So what I might actually do is throw to Wade. There's a question which is very relevant. And also, we might also get a few thoughts from Eriks on this as well about the marketing, the communications industry and the changes that have occurred. And especially in light of what's happened with radio in Australia, where all the radio stations are now, all the announcers are now basically doing their show from home in their respective homes. I mean, is this the future because of the pandemic? Is this what we have to do now with marketing and communications? Is it all just going to be at home?

Well, I think what it will probably open up the opportunity to do is explore things that were potentially an option before. Now is being more the norm. You know, I think one of the things if I just switch out of media for a second, if you think about retail, I think about like grocery shopping.

Online shopping has been an option for grocery shopping for some time now. And as a certain percentage of the population utilize it. What's happened is because of this pandemic, people are now utilizing that service more seen to be as a necessity. So they are now more adaptive in and the barriers dropped. The technology was the problem, not necessarily wanting to do the grocery shopping online, being either afraid of the technology or not trusting it or preferring a physical experience.

And what's happened now is that when we come out of these people aren't necessarily going to be buying more food, but why they buy, it'll be different. And because that barrier sort of has been dropped. So I think in the media sense that the ability to broadcast from remote locations has been a part of radio for 30, 40, 50 years, really. It's just the technology has made it a little bit more accessible. You don't have to take a large truck full of broadcast equipment anymore.

You can look what shows that I'm saying at the moment around the world are broadcasting from their phones. So the technology.

They're essentially podcasting now that they're essentially being remote spent, you know, being mobile, they not studio bound.

And I think the one thing you can be guaranteed of is that there were certain shows, you know, for a long period of time that weren't broadcast from the same studio or different locations. And I think perhaps radio will be talking specifically about radio will realize that their big strength is their mobility and their ability to be within audiences. And it's not just about being out in branded vehicles, handing out cans of Coke. It's actually about connecting people, connecting with people in the audience in a real way, being where they are doing what I do.

Providing you tie into experiences because of that. So I think from a production perspective in media, I think that's certainly going to be something that gets used a lot more. I think the bigger challenge for media is obviously the commercialization and the monetization aspect where they are having challenges around a pretty strong set of advertising revenue just sort of almost evaporating pretty quickly because obviously media feels the pinch pretty quickly when the market moves and it will be hard to rebound out of that.


What new ideas can they do to bring brands and compliance or into the fabric of their content? What can they be doing using the technology to remote, to be in locations where the brands and products are to help make that connection with the audience directly? They're probably the more media challenges that we have to think about.

Is it more about re thinking who your core advertising advertisers are? And I guess this goes for old media and ad too. I mean, instead of relying on the on the local car yards, you obviously you've got to be really struggling that we should be looking more at things like the insurance companies, the lawyers, the doctors. I mean, should they be the ones that the media should be focusing on for marketing and advertising?

Well, I think what the media and this is a very broad statement, so I won't be offended if anyone in the media disagrees with me here. I think the media has been in a very insulated space for some time because they've relied heavily on two types of overall spend. One would be brand spend. So big brands putting brand campaigns on media. The other has been more tactical. And obviously the growth in tactical spend in the last decade or so has pretty much overtaken brand spend.

But what they have to stop focusing on is chasing the money. Well what they have to start focussing on is what everyone should be focused on at the moment is being on value. It's about being of value to people when they need you. And I was in the US a couple of weeks ago and got out just in time, thank goodness, but was having a conversation with someone over there whose car had broken down and had a flat tire and he had a Mercedes.

It's a nice car. And he went to the trunk of the car and there was a spare tire in the back, but the spare tire wasn't inflated and he had no means of inflating that where he was. So he had to end up calling the triple A, the RACV equivalent. And in that example of Mercedes view of that customer, they were providing services. I had a spare tire in the boot. But the reality is they weren't of value when he needed them.

He needed a tire put on the car, not a spare tire in the boot. And I think what's happened for so long is that everyone’s been fixated on the market being so buoyant and so healthy. They haven't been on value basically just monetizing what they can do. The sharpness has to come back to, for media, for other industries. For any industries now is be of value when people need you and the price will follow don’t be price obsessed, be value obsessed. Try and find a way to demonstrate that value.

If you're advertising or branding products, the advantage you have at the moment is in ordinary times. It's harder to get a rate on the market. You can't rely on multiple inputs and things change quickly. The advantage you have at the moment is the one thing we can predict about the market is it will come back. We don't know when. We don't know how hard we hit. We don't know how we know it will bounce back. So what you can stop thinking about is what products and services will be of value to people when it bounces back.


We know there'll be a lot of people out of work. How can we help people find work when the market bounces back?

What if it takes a year?

If it takes a year, it takes a year, and then you’ve got to try and remove from the equation somewhat, you have to focus on more about what you can do. What's the value you can provide? Because the when is something that no one can predict. So it's pointless trying to draw up an exercise. I think we're going, oh, it's in three months, almost six months’ time. And you might have to focus more on immediate needs such as cash flow and staff retention, stuff like that.

But I think back to what Geoff was saying before about, you know, you've got to really just focus on how you can help, what you can do. It's really important to know that you have a place or a role where you can provide value for people. If you start thinking about the external things, you can't control you’re going down the wrong rabbit hole. What can we do when the market bounces back? Because markets do go up and down.

This is going to be a particularly bad down. It will come up at some point. That's just modern economics to get your mindset into how we can prepare and for my business. That's exactly what we've done. We had a strategic plan for two years that we literally had to kind of, you know, turn around and reverse on into ice last week. And what we've done is gone. Okay. When the mass market bounces back, what things are still relevant.

But how can we apply them when people are gonna want us, when we can be of value to people? That's really important.

That's great. Thanks. Eriks, what would you like to say about that?


That's a great point about providing the value, because that's an emotional connection, because so much of advertising and marketing and all sorts of media over so many years has been pushing messages like we craft the right message and shout it loud enough and long enough and often enough, then people will come and buy it. You know, you can watch Madmen, you can binge Madmen on Netflix when you're locked away at the moment and while you're reminded of some great advertising practices of the past.

There's also a lot that's progressed since then or should have from my point of view, because I do work with radio stations a lot as part of what I do. What I'm feeling is even just in the last few days, the opportunities now for brands to appreciate that emotional connection. I've been long a believer in that anyway. But it's not about pumping out messages. It's creating an emotional connection. Now, I guarantee that even if you're running really tightly right now and you have a product or service that's generally of use to people.

If you went to any media outlet now and said, I want to do something with you to entertain and to provide some kind of service to your audience, they'll jump at you because media and especially a live medium like radio. And if I could make a pitch at this point. But to say that. They're in the business of making that connection. All of working out what's of value to people, because the information they're having to disseminate now has to be of value.

You can't tell people the wrong thing or add to the confusion, but also how do you entertain people, give them information? Against this backdrop of deep social disturbance because of ego. It's not just jobs and businesses being lost, their lives being lost in the process, but in the commercial world.

I think what will cut, what is starting now, what will come out the other end is that sense of value and purpose and emotional connection with people is going to last way beyond this and that your form of marketing. And to think about how you work with your media partner your advertising or marketing partner on creating that connection is really going to come at the other end because people are not going to be in a mood to be hyped. At the other end, I don't think that's going to happen.


This is going to be a searing experience where people are going to look for who is sincere, who can I believe and trust. And that starts now.

That's a really good point. Look, I think that this whole process of, you know, planning for the future is brilliant and we need to be doing that. But like you said, there's a lot of things that are slowing down right now.

A lot of issues that people are going through. So I guess I want to open this up to everyone. And that is.

 How do we actually keep our businesses going if people are slowing down, their spend, I mean, it's great to plan for the future, but how do we entice them to actually come and do business with us?

Just quickly on that one side, because I actually had an experience of this yesterday when I was working with someone who is in the events space. Think about obviously event businesses whose whole business is around. Could it be on physical events? Bringing people to it and monetising it. And the conversation we were having was he said, I don't know what business I'm in now. And so the exercise we went through with him was to try and really understand what value again, that where it comes up, value he provided.

And what we got to was the fact that he wasn't actually in the events business, in the business he was in was connecting people. And what he did really well was curated content and got speakers that connected with an audience. And the audience would then give a message the way he used to deliver that. We're so used to now to deliver that through physical events. So he had got himself into a mindset of like, well, I can't do what I what I've done for the past decade.

It's like, no, you can't you still can't create the connection. So why you do what you do hasn't changed. What you do hasn't changed because you're actually making connections. Is the how you do it. So the quicker you can pivot to how you do what you do is the real change it's going on. I think it's gonna be much, much faster for you to come out for it if you can get your thinking into that space.


That's what I if I may pick up from that. I think there's a really interesting thread here.

And, you know, it really does come down to the value that we offer. And I think sometimes as business people, we don't necessarily appreciate as your example, they are your client, what it is we're doing. And I think in order to survive, many of us are going to have to let go of what we think our business should be or what we thought it was and recognize that that's not really what it is. What it is, is it's you know, what's that vision?

You know, as we showed in that example, what's the vision this person had for their business and what's the function or the purpose or the meaning? What are they actually bringing to the marketplace? And when we can focus really on that and that broader perspective, we can let go of. But it's got to look like this, and it's got to look like that. And, you know, look for different ways to be able to bring that to life.

I think the other thing that's going to happen or need to happen is that many of us are going to be called to challenge the assumptions that we hold about our businesses and what we're doing and even the value that we're bringing. I mean, Eriks had said we're in a situation where, you know, for all intents and purposes, we are all going to be shut home out of our normal routine, you know, doing things that we've not done for a long time, like worrying about, you know, is there food in the fridge where, you know, we could just go buy it as we needed it, you know?

So the longer we're in a situation where we're doing something differently, we're building new habits. Right. And humans are creatures of habit.


And so if all of a sudden, all of the beliefs we've held or the habits we've held are being challenged, then all of the things that we will do and we will find value and are going to be challenged, too. So back to what you were saying about, you know, what's going on with your customers. What's going on? I think we would be foolhardy to think that we will be able to pick up in three weeks or three months or six months or whatever.

The timeframe is exactly where we left off. Things will have changed. People's values will have changed, and there's different things that they're going to want. So I think we need to be looking at, you know, what are those assumptions we have about, you know, I call it the who, what, where, when, why. Some of you were a journalist. You'll appreciate this, though. Who, what, where, when, why and now of why we're in business.

You know it as we start to look at, you know, what are we going to do and how are we going to do it? I think the other thing we have to appreciate is what have we already done? What have we built on? What have we learned? What are the things that we can pivot or turn, you know, to use those terms? Where can we take those things? And are we willing to look at that through new eyes and go, you know what?

Yeah, I did work really hard getting it to this point and it feels like somebody has pulled the rug out from underneath. But here's the pieces. And what if I just rearrange those pieces differently and we do something else with it? And what if I keep open to the opportunity? What if I'm able to just let go of that's what it should be. And I can just start to focus on what it could be or what might there be there?

I think that's when more things start to come with us. And that's when we can be much more resourceful. I think it's actually a really good segue into this. This question, Janice, that you posed, especially with what you've just said, then what about the musicians and the arts? I mean, we've had. Firstly, they've gone through the whole process of getting their music devalued to, you know, next to nothing because of, you know, Apple and Spotify and all of that.


And now they can't even do concerts. How are they going to make money? What can they do? Should they be thinking about making money at this time or is there something else they should be doing? Well, you know, it's funny, I've I had the opportunity to reflect on this today because we had a really interesting thing kind of come through our national news and it made me step back. And we've certainly been hearing a lot of it.

I mean, again, we're a little further ahead of you in our experience of this in Canada. And, you know, there was a lot of news coverage about, you know, these musicians. They can't play, they can't get together. They're losing their revenue stream. Well, everybody's losing their revenue stream yet. The reality is we all have access to the technologies that we didn't have before. Right. And I think the whole thing about these kinds of shocks to the economy and to our collective consciousness is that it makes us step back and go.

So why are we buying into that model? Right. If you look at business models. Right. So, yeah, Apple came along and introduced streaming music and then all kinds of things happened. Well, we've been using model of entertainment that says we have to go to big arenas, or we have to go to big venues, and we have to buy tickets and we have to show up. And then somebody is going to resell the tickets at a ridiculous price because I love this artist.

Well, why can't the artists just broadcast on their own? We're doing podcasts, you know, and I look at this and I go, no, there has to be something different. So I hope you can send out this link at the end. It made me cry today. There's not a lot of times people can make me cry. But this is this is, I think, the beauty of what we can do. So Toronto Symphony Orchestra, everybody gets sent home.

And like any arts organization, they rely on people showing up and paying money.

And in Canada, we have a lot of grants systems where these people are supported also through cultural grants. Well, this one bassist didn't like the fact that he was grieving the loss of connection between his colleagues and he went. What can I do about that? How do I connect? How do we play music? How do we perform when everything's been taken away from us? And he was inspired to learn a new piece of software and figure out how to do things.


Now, I think I've seen a few other orchestras who were starting, so they almost be talking into each other. But he basically created a situation where they chose a piece of music. Everybody played in their home studio. They all recorded themselves. They recorded their piece of the music. And he figured out with this software how to put it together. Well, I watched this thing together and it was better than being at a live concert in the front row.

It's because I guess it's just like I saw them in their home. I saw their passion. I saw them with their music. You know, and it was choreographed, whereas each artist came in to play his or her piece. They were brought in. And as the two trumpets were playing, we saw the two trumpets, but we didn't see anybody else. And, you know, it was like, wow. I pay money to see that.

I got it for free on YouTube today, but I pay money to see that. And that brought me a lot of joy. And that's something that didn't I didn't have to go outside of my house to do. And then I could share with other people. And, you know, I shared it in my own network. You know, from simply a story of. Look, we are all going to be charged with finding new ways of doing things, and you know, where we used to think that we couldn't do this?

Well, all of a sudden everybody is running virtual meetings and doing all kinds of stuff. Right. We don't need training on it. We're just going to figure it out. And, you know, yeah, maybe we need to hire an expert to make it better and do a few other things. But gosh darn, we can you know, we can hum a few bars and fake it and figure it out for a while, you know? Now, this guy talked about the fact it took him 48 hours to do this and all kinds of other things.

But, you know, in contrast, think about how long does it take to load a band onto an 18 wheeler? How long does it take to travel from place to place? How long does it take to set up and dismantle a stage? You know what? If we just did that in a different way. And I think that's the challenge where the opportunity is in technology. There's a lot of concern, you know, that we've had about, oh, my God, what's happening to tech?

Maybe this is going in the wrong direction. You know, as we look at the way that tech can go. But what if we took the tech and the advances we've had, and we found a different way to use it. So that rather than being dispersed and not connected, we found a way to better connect. And really what I'm seeing over the last while is more of that heart connection, more of that authenticity, more of that humanity around.

This is who I am. I want to play music. I'm a musician. I meant to play music. And I want to just do that. And each one of us has an instrument we can play. It might not be something that we, you know, has a reed and we put into our mouth. But each one of us has an instrument we can play, and we need to figure out what that is. And we need to figure out how to use them, use the tools and the technology that's available to us and to connect with the people around this to make that happen.


That's a great example.

I think the key principle that we're operating with, the fundamental thing that's actually going on here is that our usual ways connecting with people have been challenged or even cut off. And the opportunity now is to invent new ways to connect with people. And I think those examples from Janice are spot on. And the technology has been sitting there like I started writing about the work from home stuff twenty five years ago. And I was really excited about the opportunities of what happens if people stay home in their local communities and what happens when people stay home for their families.

And instead of just passing them as ships in the night when they come home or whatever, there's actually room to actually work in new ways. And I think this is the key to look at how do we actually want to connect with people And then what are the tools that we've got available to us to let us do that in new ways? And I think there's some great opportunities right now to use the technology that's been around us for 10 or 20 years.

Like Zoom or Skype, if you want to go back there or even video if you want to. But there's ways to connect with people. So if we look at that is the principle. How am I now connecting with people? That's where our opportunities are going to show up from.

Is it fair to say that the general learning from this is while previously you might not try something because obviously there might be risks involved and you might look silly or whatever? I got a sense here of this being at times say, well, we'll just try this out. We just give this a go. Because what is there to lose? Now, if you try something out that previously wild ideas that may have come up in the businesses meeting, you have your staff meetings and so on that you have your ideas sessions.

Something might be put on the shelf to say look, this sounds a bit out there. This is actually a time for being out there. Try things and see what happens because it feels like it could be really surprising what you get back.

Yeah, I can guess that there hasn't been a burning platform. Eriks, there's been the tech. There's been the knowledge. You know, I think it's really interesting what Geoff said there about it's been around for a while, but the need to do it hasn't been other needs arrived at the back of this. Hopefully, see people perhaps better embracing opportunities in technology because it's not as scary. You can do it. We're all in different countries, different continents, different time zones, having a really productive and interesting conversation.


One of the things I keep seeing people say to them this week is, oh, so maybe we didn't need all those meetings. After all, productivity gains can come from people who aren't just having that Monday morning regular meeting that goes for an hour where people just talk around in circles because we have to. People might get a greater sense of productivity up over this time because they're realizing that when you're limited in your resource, also your opportunity. It forces you to adapt and you come up better for it.

I want to chime in a bit myself. Sorry to interrupt. Whoever that was, just to say that I also think there's an opportunity not to just connect with your team, but with customers. And I see huge opportunity for small businesses in this period when maybe they can't actually physically connect with customers. But to do it online, to do to give them an opportunity to get involved in another way. And that makes them feel part of that brand. And it's building a trust element, because we're pretty much untrusting of a lot of stuff that's going on with some governments about doing so well with this whole process.

And some that are doing better. And so I think there’s an opportunity there for small business to embrace that as well.

And I get the e-mail.

Yeah, totally.

I think there's ah I've had a couple of discussions with some business owners and also some musicians as well. Over the last week. And a lot of them are forgetting about the fact that that this is a perfect opportunity for them to really cement their customer base, to cement their fan base.

And especially by creating something like, even if something as simple as creating a Facebook group, you know, and building those numbers because it allows them to interact. So is this a time that we've basically been forced to sit back and really consolidate everything we're doing and actually have a bit of an inward reflection on how our business is going?

You know, if I can chime in. I really think so. I think going back to that conversation.


Right. This is a podcast about innovation, and innovation is all about value. And when you're in a time where it becomes challenging to do things as you used to do. Right. If you're concerned about where your next cashflow piece is coming and you're worried about, you know, what are you doing with your employees?

I think we have to be questioning everything that we're doing. And then I think we also have to be asking how are we making that connection with our customers and what can we do in a time where maybe they are not in a position to give us bandwidth or purchase or do the things that we would normally need them to do if they can't do it, because they're just not allowed to come into our store front? If that's what we're dealing with, then we can't ship it to them because maybe we have some issues in doing that.

I think the really important thing is to get creative around how do we connect to them and tapping into what is it that they need at that particular time? What is it that we can offer? You know, how can we do it? I mean, last week, you know, you guys are a gateway. Watch me. I tell you, you know, you're gonna get a crap load of emails saying, oh, because of Covid-19, we've all gone home.

It's like, you know what? Crap. Forget it. We all know you went home. Like, you know, we're not living in a mushroom patch. You know, thank you for telling me that you're out there. And I kept getting, you know, one of these after the other and that. And they were all corporate communications. You know, we're doing everything to be safe and we're still here for you. Okay? Yeah, I know you are like you're a business person.

What else can you tell me? And I just kept watching this. And it's like I really want to reach out to my customers. And we were about to send out a newsletter. Right. And I kind of went. I am not sending out something that everybody else's son doesn't like. Come on. I'm in the innovation business. What can I do? And I just paid attention to what I was noticing. And I ended up partnering up with somebody else.

And we decided that, you know, where people are in the place where they just need a way to get themselves grounded in and kind of look at, you know, what are the things? And so what can we offer people? What we can offer people a way to look at how do they need to be positive and how long they need to be creative and what do they need to do to take care of their immune system at this time when they're terribly stressed and take care of their mind so that they can actually make good decisions and do things.


Now, were we planning to do this? No. Was I planning to partner with this woman to do it? No. But it was a perfect thing to do because it just made sense. Well, we've been inundated with the response. And what I think was better was that people actually reached out the day that we sent out that email and said, thank you. I couldn't dare. I couldn't handle another one of those emails. You're actually giving us something of value now.

Hey, we got lucky, right? We you know, I don't know if the next time we do that, it'll be right. But the point is, I think we have to constantly re-evaluate and go, does this make sense right now and tap into our intuition and get out of our heads and connect with our heart and look at what people want. People are really vulnerable right now. So how do we connect with that vulnerability and how do we help them in a positive way?

And, you know, my belief is if that's the sort of value we can offer, you know, what else are we going to do? Nobody. You know, like, let's just give them some value and do something authentically so that down the road when things start to shift, who knows where, who they'll call or what they'll do. But, you know, business is about building relationships and it's about being there for your customer even when they're not buying.

It's about connecting with them and recognizing that they're people and they've got families and there's things they've got to worry about. And it's not just, you know, when the next contract or cheque is coming in. It's a whole bunch of other stuff that we have to be concerned about.

Would it be fair to say, Janice, that even the smallest thing you can do for someone will actually have a big impact in this environment and commercially? Yes, we'll be in a longer term benefit. But that's you know, there are great altruistic reasons for doing it, obviously. But feels like just even the small thing is, as you said, reaching out in some way to a customer will have great benefit to everyone concerned?


Before you answer, Janice, sometimes that means not doing something. I also have been in a position like Janice where every product or business I've bought in the last three years has sent me an email in the last week telling me their response to the coronavirus. I don't need to know. I don't want to know that it is. You're clogging my inbox. So same example, Janice. But to add to Eriks’ question, you cannot also Janice, is sometimes where doing nothing or acknowledging you're not causing the more problem.

More pain is actually what they need right now.

You know, I think so. I mean, I think the I think if the game is changed. Right. And we all went to business school, or at least I did, and then I went to creativity school and I did a whole bunch of other stuff. But the reality is, you know, we have to respond to what's happening. These are human beings. This is not a revenue stream. It's not, you know, this or that.

There's a person on the other end and they have needs. And that's really what business is about? It's the value that the way that we help people fulfill their needs, whatever those are. And sometimes there's a lot of power in not saying anything. Sometimes there's power. You know, again, if you want to look at how do you get creative? Maybe all you say is, hey, anybody feeling like this? Kind of like, you know, I'm sitting there and it's like, okay, I had a day last week where I pivoted 18 times.

But, man, it was a fantastic day, but it was just like, you know, like what? Oh, right. And then, you know, the next day was a little more sombre and. Right. So you're riding this wave of emotions. And, you know, we're going to come out with corporate speak and pat emails. And it was like, who gives a crap?

Like you could send an email asking, has anybody got a new pasta recipe? Please do something different.

Well, look, to something else, something different like that is just communicating on a human level. Yeah. Just throw the other stuff out. Be real.

Just be real. Yeah. Well, you know, I've even noticed the big shift in the sorts of things that are coming in through LinkedIn. I mean, you know, I'm sure we all use LinkedIn. Right. And, you know, I either have people who feel they can help me find lead generation and it's all business. Right. Like, really? Okay. OK, thanks. No, I don't want to be in your network.


And then I have, you know, executives, you know, who are in, you know, different sites, companies or small, medium firms, founders or whatever, reaching out and just going like, hey. Right. And I hope you're well and you know, how you doing? And then it's like, well, you know what? I don't do a hell of a lot of personal sharing regularly, but the world has changed. It's like, you know, and dude has just told me that he's at home with three kids and he's trying to still do his job.

And it's like, well, you know what? I can relate to that. And I live at home. And here's the thing that's tough. What you're doing. But, boy, what an opportunity, because you have somebody to hug at the end of the night and there's nobody to hug me here. Right. So I got to find a different way to get it. And it's just it's like we all have something that we're dealing with and there's a good in something that we're all dealing with.

Right. And so I think we just have to acknowledge where each other is and get past that fact that there's this facade that we have to keep holding up. It's just where people we all are having an experience. We are all having the same experience. Some of us are going through it. You know, two weeks or three weeks or months before the others.

And there's something we can all learn from each other in that process. And I think what I hope is we'll all learn how to be more human and we'll learn how to be better connected.

I think that's great. I think we all should be giving Janice a virtual hug right now. So that's it. You can only see on the podcast. What I'm saying right now, there's a lot of love in this Zoom-room. So I want to throw to Geoffrey Wade. who we haven't heard from for a little while yet? And especially in light of this whole conversation, how do we. There was a question that was asked that you said that you'd like to sort of speak into, and that is how do we manage continuity of our supply chain?


You know, it's great that we've got all of this helping customers and building our customer base. But what about the supply chain that we're losing?

Fair enough. Actually, I’ll respond to a couple of things, let me say it as well as Janice was talking about. I am stuck at home with three kids.

Some people seem to be getting through this with a great sense of humour. I saw a posting of someone who is clearly working from home, sitting in the office with the other caption. We need the new model of working from home, lying on the floor behind her with her three kids, and they were tied up with rope and gags and bound.

People are managing to keep some sense of humour about this.

With this supply chain, I mean, it's such a vast thing in terms of materials, labour. It's you know, I even include customers in that conversation.

And I think partly the way to answer that question like to share a story of one of the people in my network runs a business that is primarily face to face training.

And so you can appreciate that for him, a huge sudden shift where we have a conversation about what he could do about that. And I connected him with some people in our mutual network and some people in my network that essentially connected him with people who do social media marketing connected him with people who translate classroom learning to online learning and that he'd been making that journey anyway, but that he was seeing it as something that was a massive investment in the long time trying to transition to move all this material to online.

They reached out to the customer base and came back with actually the same subsets of what he does that the customer base really wants right now. To help deal with the situation. The people that he talked with all basically planned together and the social media folks said, look, we'll do the marketing for you. The folks who are great at videoing and creating online learning that will create the learning material for us. You provide the content, we do the delivery.

And now here’s the kicker. Two things, they did this. They created these programs in four days. And they also agreed to run it as a joint venture. So it cost him nothing. Each person chucked in their stuff and they, literally kicked it off on Monday this week. And they are. They're selling stuff. They're earning revenue. And they split the revenue equally between the three parties. And then it's I guess it's another example of what Janice was talking about earlier.


She partnered up with someone and created something new out of the mess. I think my message to the people about supply chains. OK. Have a look at them. See which ones are the biggest risks that you're gonna have to manage that and possibly find alternatives. If you think of another customer who is in the IT industry and a sizable chunk of the hardware I sell came from China and the rogue part of China, and they literally couldn't get it for weeks.

That's changed for them and they're now able to ship. But if you're in that in that scenario, you're going to be looking for the supplies and doing sales.

Otherwise, you're not going to be able to deliver. And then there's a lower risk stuff that, you know, you'll have your contingency plans. But I would also say to you, apart from the risk management, I'm looking for alternatives. I see your supply chain as in the story that I just showed you, supply chain could well be your opportunity. And I if you can partner with them in the right way and you're willing to share revenue, you can create something new that is vital and vibrant in this market right now.

And then you can make it happen very quickly. Move forwards. Think about your supply chain in two ways. It's a risk. It's a massive opportunity. You know, I think the other aspect to that is this. My bet is none of those people sat and had a conversation around what's the licensing agreement? What's this? What's that? Right. And I think that's the other thing, you know, from a supply chain and from some of the ways that we're doing business.

You know, I think we need to be very you know, we still have to be careful about who we're getting into bed with, so to speak. Yet if we're all in the boat and we're all going, I have this skill and I'm willing to give you this and I'm willing to give this right.

There's value in that. And that's enterprising and that's entrepreneurial. And if we can just kind of focus on that aspect of it, then exactly as you say, new opportunities happen, and it goes back to letting go of what you thought it should be. What you know, there's a lot that's not good about the way the business systems and the things that we've setup. Traditionally, I don't think they've really served us well and they certainly won't serve us well as we move into a new place.

We weren't relying on technologies, meaning to get very creative. If money can't be exchanged, well, what else can we put into it? We can put in energy and create something else. Right.

So I think those that that sort of stuff is going to be very important.

And people are just going to have to let go of it has to be this way or that way.


I don't mean if I was a lawyer, I'd be a little worried right now that we could legislate, figure out how to make things happen.

Your existing supply chain, you have a relationship with them. So we were talking earlier about trust and how important that is. There's a heap of trust there already, one hopes. And you know, when you think about my story, as I was saying, I was quoting people that I like and trust together. So if I didn't have a relationship already by proxy, I knew that I was going to connect them with people who I had a long term commercial relationship with, that I knew I could work something else.

So maybe there's another element there, I suppose, and then another message in there. Remember your network.

You know, it's funny you say that because that's the thing that I've certainly and I'm curious about the others. I certainly have been aware of my network in different ways. And I think what I'm observing, too, is people are willing to go. I need help with. Can you help me find someone? And again, I got to think of the great trust and capital you created because of what you just did with that. Right. You don't want to set up people who you don't trust. Right. It's just it, guys. Here we go.

And also asking for help. I mean, you know, we talk about for the people probably afraid to use technology that is already available to them. But one of the things we've always been tied up as humans is asking for help. But we often think we have to appear to be more successful than we are. Our social media presence has to give the impression we're doing really well. But the reality is, as you say, Janice, we're all in the same boat.

So it makes it easier. Breakdown those sort of psychological barriers to ask people right now when you need help and support others who are giving help. I think that's another big thing you can do is look at the broader networking where you have suppliers, customers or other industries, even competitors who are doing great stuff at the moment. And being of value in helping people support and applaud them. And it reminds me of a great example of the moment where supermarkets in Australia have an hour out of a day for people who are elderly or have physical disabilities to do their shopping on their own.

That's a great help and service that a supermarket is doing. We should applaud that and also recognise that. Why wasn't it been thought of before? Why can't I keep doing that? You know, that's a great testament to what kind of society you want to live in. And so I'm really loving at the moment how all the usual barriers are just completely crumbling away, even though it's a time of crisis, in a time of immense stress for a lot of people.

But we're asking for help that it's a really big step forward.


And can I make an observation about asking for help from a cognitive scientist or psychologist’s perspective? When you ask for help, you build trust. Believe it or not, asking for help is a big trust builder. So if you had some element of trust there to begin with, when you have the courage to ask for help, when you really need it, you're actually enriching, deepen and strengthen the trust that you have in your existing relationships. It's counterintuitive.

We don't think all I'm asking for help. It's going to degrade the relationship. No way it’s the complete opposite. It deepens it because then the other party knows that when the time comes around, there's this other thing that Robert Cialdini, he says in his research that we create which is called Reciprocal Obligation. And they know that when they ask for help, you step up and be there for them.

Of course you will love it. Love it. Well, look, I think we've come up with some really unique perspectives here today. And we're all facing, you know, unusual challenges and unusual circumstances. So I think there's been some really good themes that have come through here. I'd love to wrap things up. And just a few final words from each of you as to what we can actually be doing during this time to really advance our business, help one another, whatever it is.

But what do you feel is the most important message to take away from this? So we would like to start with that. To Geoff McDonald.

I think the key is connection. Go and talk to your people. Or go and talk to your family and talk to your team. Go and talk to your customers. Go and talk to clients. Go on to your suppliers. Find out actually what's going on for them because there's a good chance it's changed from last week.

And that will be the chance to. Possibly cement the relationship. It may be to grow something, it may be to start something. It might be as simple as I'm here. Can I help in whatever way that might be? So I'd be looking to connect with people.

 I'd echo that. You know, relationships are the foundation of business. People conduct business and opportunities don't float in the clouds. Opportunities are attached to people. As Janice just said talk to people. Yes, go do it, deepen the relationship. And guess what? You will connect with opportunities as well because they're attached to people.

Yeah. I would just completely echo that from again with my research hat on and the concept of just staying close to the people and that when I talk about research, you know, it's about relationships or should be in the end. And like I just passionately believe in that.


That asking for help from your team and customers at a tough time. People will step up. Brilliant. My mine would be that. I think with sort of echoing all those thoughts in one of the things that came up in our conversation today was don't feel like you will have all the answers. Don't put that pressure on yourself. It is a time where communities are coming together in very different ways. And some would say it's about time that they are.

And I really love the fact that people like this are coming together, sharing instances, sharing thoughts in different time zones and different countries and meeting for the first time, but putting something on the table that we can all take away from. And I think that, you know, I'd learned as much about my business in this conversation as hopefully other people have as well. So the benefits that you get when you put something on the table will come back to you.

So don't feel like you have to have all the answers. Look for ways in which you can have conversations. Break down those normal barriers. And, you know, as Geoff just fantastically put around that the reciprocation of those benefits will come down the line when you're actually asking for help. And just a final. For me, I think I don't know because just my sense of humour, but I kind of like to try and find sometimes the light in the dark.

And I think that one thing that keeps coming up to me this way for some reason is a quote from the movie Flying High, which might be known as Airplane in other parts of the world. And the quote is when the guy says, I picked  a hell of a week to give up sniffing glue. And you cannot predict what is yet to come. But you can try and ride it out and whatever that is for you whether that's enjoying music, enjoying being with your family, having a laugh where you can at things you can laugh at or indulging in your favourite TV show.

Making sure that's a big part of your balance.

Yeah. It's awesome that, you know

I think, yeah, a sense of humour when you're going through, right? One of the main things when you look at creativity and the scales you need in that having a sense to humour is one of them. You can't take it all too seriously. It really is important.

I think it would be very easy and I mean human. You know, I'm not so sure. I had a fantastic day as a part of yesterday, but today was a good day. And the day before was a good day. And tomorrow, who knows what it will be. The reality is all we can do is live in the present moment and move through that and connect with ourselves. You know, be very clear on the fact of where we want to go.


And I think it's really important to have a vision for what it is we're trying to create. And maybe we have to also get really creative in that and rethink about that. You know, for myself many, many years ago when I decided that I was gonna go make a big change in my personal life. You know, I did it without making. I didn't have a plan. It was like when God, I'm making this change and I don't have a plan.

Well, guess what? Nobody had a plan for this, right? And what I did at that time was I knew I needed to focus on something to allow myself to go. And I couldn't picture what was I. Right. Great. Right now, there's so much ambiguity and uncertainty. It's like, okay, what is my business? What am I doing? And what I needed to do is get really creative on what's my vision.

And at the time, I was living a really complicated life and I was looking to build my business and scale it and do a bunch of other things. And I realized that what I needed to do was my vision was I was creating a simple life. If you look at the words for what a simple life is, it's unconstrained. It's just a life that's simple and it gives you so much movement and so much freedom. And maybe this is an opportunity for many of us to get really simple and get back down to some basics and look at that.

I'm not saying everybody has to have my vision, but I think we all have to find what that vision is for us. And it's not going to be what we thought it was before. And when we connect to that. We got to keep moving forward. And when we move forward, even if it's a little step today and even if it feels like we're stuck tomorrow. The point is we will keep moving forward and we better find the gratitude.

There's all there's good stuff out there. And if we fail to keep focused on that, we will fail. You know, this is we can thrive and there's different ways to do it. And this will be a real, real call to action. It'll be a call to emotion. It'll be a call to keeping ourselves mentally stable in a whole bunch of other things. We can do this. And I think as we reach out into our networks and we ask for that help, whether it's I need a guy who can do video and helped me get my content converted in that great story, or maybe it's just calling up one of your friends and going, okay.

I'm about to lose that, like get me off this ledge because I'm not going to manage right now. And I and you know what? We're all going through that. And I think we have to hear that. And we have to help each other through it. That's a lot. That's right. OK. Thank you all for your valuable input today. Before I throw to Judy to wrap it all up, I just also liked from a practical point of view to remind everyone we're going to be doing a lot more of these Zoom calls, Skype calls.

I don't know whether anyone seen the Facebook video that's getting around. But if you're on video, please remember to turn the video off before you go to the toilet. A lady who just forgot about that. She was on video and she's sitting there going to the toilet and suddenly realizes and of course, everybody just stopped what they were doing. So, look, if you get a chance to have a look at it, just remember, this is a new era in technology now.


But just to wrap things up, to see if Judy would like to finish everything up.

Look, firstly, I really want to thank everybody for taking the time out. And I know it's hard. And I guess what I really enjoyed about today was actually the raw emotion that everyone is sharing because this is you know, you do feel it affects all of us so differently.

And as someone pointed out that, you know, some of you know, I've been thinking about those who have got kids at home and worrying about how they go to school and then all of those sorts of complications. And then you might have a business as well. So I can't even begin to imagine. But I think it's business owners. We have to remember that customers are human. But our team are human. And that we all are feeling our own emotions around this time.

So it's just important to remember that and remain connected.

I think the key thing I got out of all of this from everybody was that connectivity. We've got the technology. You know, if this had happened, if this scenario today had happened 20, 30 years ago. Quite honestly, we'd be all, you know, seriously. It would be a real challenge. But it didn't happen today. We do have technology. We have the ability.

I think this is going to bring a level of emotional intelligence back to our businesses that has been severely missing.


You know, there's been a lot of talk and all of you will have seen all of content on LinkedIn. Everyone talks about, you know, EQ and yes, we love our customers and all the rest of it. Sorry for most of you. It's crap because I see so much that isn't remotely close to that. And this is an opportunity to take stock, an opportunity to go. We need to connect. We're isolated now. We need to bring that community back.

And you can do that with team customers. And think about your future. How can you reshape your business future to bring back that community? And that's what we're going to miss at first the most. And yes, Janice, you're a little more ahead of us in this isolation business in New Zealand. We are in complete lockdown as of pretty much. The prime minister asked us to go into lockdown yesterday, but officially it's from midnight tonight. And we can leave the house to go for a walk in our local area.

We're not to get in a car and drive. We are going shopping, or we have a medical appointment. And you have to actually prove that. So we're fundamentally locked down. That is yet to happen in Australia. But the point is that, you know, we're all frightened as well. You know, where do you go? Who do you touch? You can't see. You don't know what's going on. And that's so that's a level of the trust, the security, everything in our world that we've known has disappeared overnight.

So we have to accept that that's like it for everybody. And think about your world and go what can I do to make my small part of the world better for those that I work with?

And if you can do that and it came back to many conversations we've had in the last hour and a half or so on adding value.

What is that that you can do that brings makes you look in the end, if it doesn't add value to them or make their life better in some way than don't do it. And I and Janice, as you said, with all the emails, did it make my life better to get all those friggin emails? No. Like you I read the first couple I saw, though. That's interesting. No, it's no longer interesting. It's boring. And you're the same as everybody else.


You've now turned into wallpaper for us to stand out in a business environment. We have to be different. We have to step. We have to. Innovative. We can't just sit on doing what we did yesterday because it worked. And everybody else does it. That's not going to wash it anymore. And it's possible to get support where you can. And you know what? We're going to do that with the podcast. We've made a commitment that we're going to keep motivating people.

And, you know, if anyone's got some ideas on topics they'd like to hear or so we'll make it happen for you, because that's what we want to do. It's part of our contribution. But we can do this. I think we can do this as a community. And I think it was maybe, Janice, as you also mentioned, that they're getting back to grass roots. And, you know, that sort of thing. I've long believed that that's the thing that might be my green credentials a little bit as well, that we will go back to some of those things.

And that's important. So to think about that in your business and make life people for everyone better, a little bigger.

Awesome. What a great way to wrap it up. Thanks, Judy, and thank you, everyone. Eriks Janice, Wade, Geoff and Geoffrey for joining us on the show today. This is a think tank for the Covid-19 virus. So we'd love everyone out there to stay safe and don't panic. I love what Geoffrey said. Don't panic. That's the most important thing. So thank you, everyone. Thank you.

1:34 END

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